Friday, February 27, 2015

I was so busy this week! Back to work after a lovely week off and we were thrown right back into the thick of things. We went to the Effie Yeaw Nature Center on Wednesday. It was a great field trip. The students had a great time. Here we have this beautiful nature preserve right in the middle of a busy, busy city! If you didn't know it was there, you would miss it completely. I know adults who have never been there and they have lived her for years. We saw hawks, squirrels, a snake and deer. The river is a very short walk and the animals don't run when they see humans because they are used to humans. The animals are left to themselves to fend for themselves. We saw a dead deer (I didn't tell the students it was Bambi like I would have if it had been my own kids--such a mean mom) in the river (the Sacramento River). When we asked our naturalist, Jackie, why it wasn't removed, she said they leave nature to do as nature does. Other animals will take care of it--such as the hawks eating it. YUCK! We took the blind students with us this time. They loved it. The snake we saw was named Eddie. Jackie held it--a king snake--and she showed the students how to touch it with the back of their fingers to avoid getting our oils on the snake. I declined to touch Eddie. Thursday was big day because I had my quilt guild meeting. From now on until April 2016, every fourth Thursday will be a biggie because I am president of the guild beginning in April. I really like being an Indian--not necessarily the chief. Today the students made a salad bar for the office staff. We had such an array of toppings--all food grown in California--California Specialty Crops. This was our second annual lunch. All student directed--the menu, selection of foods served, who is invited and prepared by the students. It is all from our grants. We have a fresh from box of food each month, taste testings of California Specialty Crops and Cooking in Chemistry. This afternoon I was taping pages from a copy of the Outsiders and I decided that I would actively search out a grant for a new set. Our books are falling apart from use, not abuse. Every seventh grade class reads this book. Then we watch the movie. The kids always like the movie. I am watching an episode of House Hunters International. Tonight they are in Trieste, Italy. I'm watching this cute couple drinking their glass of wine while relaxing at an outdoor cafe`. I think I will enjoy a glass of wine too and watch more episodes! There are a couple set in England and Germany. My favorite episodes are the ones in France--mostly Paris. I love the look of the neighborhoods--even though I may never see them in person. SO cheers to all.......

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Home is where......

Home is where even the tea kettle sings from happiness. (Susan Branch) I was just reading Susan Branch's blog and was marveling at the snow....the cold....the beauty of winter. Here it is a balmy 65 degrees and not at all like winter. I really miss winter where you could snuggle up together and sip hot chocolate while it was ever so cold outside. It never snows here, but we get rain and fog--lots of fog. I am out of control here with buying up things from Valentine's Day at 50% off. I bought these buckets for holding the gifts for my circle of friends. I also bought buckets for gifts for my Thursday night group when we go to Auburn on a quilting retreat. It will be our 4th retreat. I bought five buckets because of course there are six of us who meet. I was feeling so pleased with myself on Sunday. So here it is Tuesday afternoon and I realize that this year Gina will be coming on the retreat too and that makes six--not five. Panic!!!! I ran over to the store to see if by a miracle there were still baskets and there were, only not as many as on Sunday. Apparently, I am not the only insane person. If my husband only knew. He doesn't appreciate the beauty of thinking ahead for this kind of thing. He has a point when he says I will forget I have it and then go buy more when I need it. I does happen. This time my gift is a pattern that is literally a square in a square making a 15-inch table topper. I am going to put in the fabric--3 fat quarters and them a few odds and ends to fill it it out. I have 4-inch pens and sticky notes. They come in so handy when you need to jot down a note and there is nothing to write on except your pattern. Speaking of patterns...I like to make copies of my patterns before I start a project so I can make notes and then add the really good ideas to my original pattern, discarding the bad ideas so no one ever knows I had them. This meant a trip to Office Depot. I tried Staples the other day, but they have the color machine on the fritz--out of order-- and won't say when it would be fixed. The copy girl told me it has been broken for a month. Come to find out the color copies are 5 cents cheaper at Office Depot. Tsk, Tsk, Tsk Staples. Shouldn't let me get happy somewhere else.... Have a great evening. A new Fixer Upper on HGTV at 9pm. Looking forward to it. Julie

I Know It Has Been a Really Long Time

Wow! I didn't realize it had been so long since I posted. During that time I have gone to two quilting retreats. In October I went to Lake Tahoe here in California. We went to this fabulous house that is totally set up for quilting. There are quilts hung everywhere and shelves of quilting books. There were eight of us and we quilted, ate and went on two field trips: one to this sweet little shop in South Lake Tahoe (the California part of Lake Tahoe) and to The Quilt House in Gardnerville, Nevada. I bought a bunch of fabric and we got a discount from the Quilt House because we were a group. It pays to share that kind of information. The first weekend in February I went with some friends to the Folsom Quilt Show here in Folsom, CA and the one disappointment was the Quilt House. They had a quilt displayed that was so cute and all the kits sold out. There wasn't even a prayer to go home and buy one online. All the fabrics were gone--Sarah's Collection by Red Rooster from some time back. I think they should have taken the quilt down. It only bred unhappiness--at least for me and my friend Irene. Why advertise a quilt we can't possibly make? Not even a pattern available. Other than that, the quilt show as fun and there were several quilts I liked and some really great venders. I always find something from Reets Rag to Stitches. The second quilting retreat was with a friend who was house sitting in Cool, CA. There is this exclusive gated community there and we (me, Jayma, Valerie and Natalie) spent four days just doing nothing else except quilting. There wasn't even a field trip--just the loveliness of Maryann's house while she was in Mexico. We all finished at least one project! Always good. I'm off to bed now. 4:45am is coming every soon. Have to get up to make breakfast and lunch for my husband. I do get to go back to bed this week because we are off for the President's holiday. hugs to all, Julie

Monday, July 14, 2014

Who does this?????

Me! That is the answer. This morning I had a donation to set out by 8am. My husband had the truck parked on the left side of the driveway and I was sure I had plenty of room from where I set the donation. At 8:30am I went out and got in the truck to take it to the dealership for a bit of work; then I ran over the donation box--not just once, but twice. Curious about what was i there???? China--plates, bowls, etc. Not a full set, but enough. Not any more. The funny thing is that the china came to me in the same box, not packed properly and a bunch of it was already crushed. I had already thrown that away. I saved 4 tea cups--three for my mismatched tea cup collection and one to give as a gift. I am going to plant a herb in the teacup. So, I had a stern talk with my friend Leah who gave me the china. It was her grandmother's and the family considered it to be junk. Well, now it is junk. It was really crushed! Thank God for my son who swept it all up for me. I have a list of things I must do before the end of the month: challenge quilt not more than 36 by 36-inches; house blocks I am doing online; quilting some community service quilts; prepping wool project--Rabbits Prefer Chocolate Wish me luck!!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Life Is Full of Connections

I have had two funny connections come up. I was shopping at Sprouts, a fresh market with the best produce. As I was walking back to my car, I passed a man with a dog who was just sitting outside the store. He wasn't dressed badly, but by just sitting there I wondered in my head if he was homeless. I was shocked when, as I passed by him, I heard "Hey, Mrs. Sackett. How are you?" It was the man and the dog. He had gone to Will Rogers Middle School where I have worked for 19 years. He is 26 years old, so it has been a while since he was there. I have no clue what his name is. I usually just ask if they remember me fondly or was I really mean. Always it is fondly. While I am nice to the kids at the school, as a 12 year old sometimes it doesn't seem so, but no one has said, "you were so mean I ran home every day to cry." I have no idea if he is homeless or just resting while walking his dog...... The next connection was so not something I saw coming. I read some really good books this past week and emailed my sister to share them with her. She calls me almost immediately--obviously on her email!!! The books included Like Dandelion Dust by Karen Kingsbury. It was so compelling, I was sure my sister would like it as I did. So she calls me to say that she knows Karen Kingsbury! Karen worked with my brother-in-law. I know now that she used his name as a character in one of her books. Don't know which one, but when I like one book, I usually like them all. My sister trades Christmas cards with Karen Kingsbury. WOW! I'm going now to google her books.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Yesterday I was at my friends house for 6 hours just working on one piece of embroidery. There is this quilt--Berry Picking Party--that three of us are working on. One of our group is on an around-Asia sailing trip and won't be back until April 2015. From past experience, she could have all the pieces embroidered and finished, ready to make into the quilt, by time she gets back from her trip. That is motivation for me to get as much done as possible. You can check out the quilt pattern on the Crabapple Hill Studio website. Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 28, 2014


I have so many ideas! I am hosting my 2nd Saturday group on the 12th. I wanted to surprise everyone with a field trip, but I can't think of a way to do it that I can drive everyone. I have 5 seat belts, but no air conditioning. That will not do at this time. I did hear about an exhibit of quilts at the Crocker Art Museum and that might be what we can do. It stops up from sitting all day and it stops us from eating all day. My plan is to have scones with jam and strawberries for breakfast, chicken salad on croissant for lunch. I will have mints and nuts out for snaking. Speaking of planning food, we are invited to an "over 50" party on July 5th. Funny because the person hosting the party is only 47! It really means no grandchildren ranging in age from 27 to 2 years. I was assigned to bring an appetizer. I have tried a few things including these toasts with a spread of ricotta cheese, pineapple, honey and orange zest. Nothing has worked out to my satisfaction so I am going to make my standby zucchini pie and possibly bring some hummus. Sewing project for this week: I made three purses for my sister and her two daughters. They're birthday presents and come with Euros for their trip to Europe. IN the girls purses I put journals, a pen and fruity tic-tacs. In my sister's purse I put a small notebook, pen and Altoids. Mints are the go to present for anyone leaving for a trip. There are unique features with these purses--they are worn over the shoulder and can be right in front of them as well as having thin wire in the strap to further prevent theft. I hear that you don't necessarily get pick-pocketed any more--the thieves just cut the strap and run off with your purse. So sad that we expect some of that in Europe. I sent the package off today. It should arrive by Tuesday. We are trusting the United States Postal Service. Speaking of the USPS, we finally have our own postman. He is a nice Indian guy (as in India not native American). I have given him bottles of water and my neighbor, Diane, has plied him with drinks too. It is really hot out there. For years we had great mail service, but then one day our postman (an old man actually) decided to retire. It has been years of horribleness every since. Apparently we live at the top of a hill. I actually asked them to tell where the "hill" was as I looked at the street. There is a slight rise and I mean really barely a rise. Once we got this one postman, Herb. He was great. He ran his route and our mail service was spectacular. Then some idiot let their dog run free and Herb was bit. Once you get bit, you never have to go back. Goodbye Herb. Since then our little space has been labeled an auxilary route. This meant we got whoever decided to pick up our route day by day. Mail came at really odd hours, sometimes not until 6pm. It was very annoying. This is why I always send our mail from work. I still use snail-mail and I expect something for my tax dollars. I am saying a prayer this guy works out. Have a lovely Sunday!